Car 2

Mr Kevin Potter

Outward appearance

John Carradine? Elongated, raffish, middle aged man. An ill-fitting black overcoat. Its velvet collar arches up to his hair line. Bone-thin, hairy wrists. Young person's black, thick-soled shoes.

Inside information

Purchaser for Mosstains and closet novelist. Sits alone in his office and continually rewrites Pastel Images, a novel based on a love affair he had in 1967.

Kevin would not recognize himself under the lank gray hair. Being kind of handsome and full of promise has been part of his identify for so long that it comes a shock to realize he is near retirement, without a published novel or even a chain of mistresses. As if his life were not complicated enough, under the black suit, he is wearing women's underwear.

What he is doing or thinking

Kevin wonders with hurt bafflement why his career has stalled. Colleagues avoid him; salesmen cancel appointments. His PA keeps her window always wide open. The office is freezing. "Do you have to keep the window open all the time?" he once asked. Her face was hard, strange. "We need the air," she replied. His nickname around the office is Rotten Fish. All of this is very hurtful. He is a sensitive, creative person.

To his horror the woman sitting next to him erupts, jowls quivering. "This is unbearable," she announces. "Can't you use a deodorant? You smell like a bonfire of old rubber tyres!"

What is she talking about? Kevin can't help sniffing; he smells nothing. Insulted, hypnotized by shock, he stands to get off one stop early at Waterloo.

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